Pope to Launch Synodal Process
Pope Francis will formally start the Synodal Process on 10th October in Rome. He asks all churches to begin their process the following week 17th October. There is a timetable from now until the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.
Each local church will be led by its bishop through this engagement with all it’s people. The Vatican has published its preparatory document
Additionally, ecclesial communities, such as Teams of Our Lady, will be contributing directly through their organisations.
Vatican Synodal Preparatory Document in English
Please pray for this opportunity to renew our Church
#farbutnear News from the International Leading Team
Clarita & Edgardo Bernal, the International Leading Couple share their reflections on our changed times for families. They report that in March they were invited by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life to present to the thirteen movements represented at the meeting, the strategies and scope of the Vatican’s initiatives to promote the reality of living out of the message of Amoris Laetitia.
Fr Ricardo Londoño the International Spiritual Counsellor says “We believe in marriage according to God’s will and, at the same time, we know the concrete circumstances that arise from the weakness and fragility of the human condition.”
Farbutnear includes Pope Francis’ message at the Interreligious meeting on the Plain of Ur in March
He says ” …. Today we, Jews, Christians and Muslims, together with our brothers and sisters of other religions, honour our father Abraham by doing as he did: we look up to heaven and we journey on earth. …”
Included too are articles from Marriage Masterclass – letting many others in Teams across the world hear about the success of this initiative from Teams in Ireland. Plus Teams in Columbia celebrate 60 Years.
A most interesting item about the development of a “Marriage YouCat” in Germany & Austria (where YouCat began) and, from Spain, an item about the development of “Veteran Team Members”.
Annette & Paul O’Beirne
Responsible Couple for the Transatlantic Super-Region
Jim Pratt – Returned to his maker
We pray for the repose of the soul of Jim Pratt who returned to his maker this morning
Jim and his late wife Theresa were the first regional couple of Great Britain and Ireland.
They were members of Backworth 1 team in the North East. Jim, who was in his mid-90’s has been in a care home just prior to March 2020.
Jim and Teresa became sector couple of The Teams of Our Lady in this country. Their liaison role had with Paris was via Donald and Madeline Flack, who asked them to form a sector.
Jim’s business travel took him to Ireland and he was asked to liaise with Dublin1, the first team in that country. Jim’s visits meant that Dublin 1 came to know of the expansion that was taking place in England and encouraged the Irish to expand: resulting in Dublin 2 & 3. Jim and Theresa continued in their liaison role.
In Rome, on their 25th wedding anniversary, Jim and Theresa were asked to accept the role of regional couple, but requested a one-year break before they undertook that responsibility in 1981
Father Neil Rodrigues, a Trinidadian priest was instrumental in introducing Teams of Our Lady to Trinidad & Tobago. He had read a report of an International Teams Gathering in Rome in L’Osservatore Romano and believed that a movement supporting Christian marriage would be very helpful to couples in Trinidad & Tobago. He contacted the Secretariat in Paris for information. As T & T were English-speaking, his request for information was passed to England. Don & Sheila Gallagher, the regional couple at that time, asked Jim and Teresa Pratt to make contact with Fr Rodrigues.
Jim and Teresa successfully piloted, by letter, the first teams on the islands. A number of years later, through the kindness of an unknown benefactor, two plane tickets were posted to them, which allowed them to visit Trinidad and meet face to face the couples they had piloted.
May the souls of Jim and Theresa, together with all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen
May 10th 2021
Tom and Maureen
Marriage Week is 10th – 16th May
– on behalf of the Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations
The Marriage Week theme might sound a bit risqué to include in the church newsletter! On further reading we see that it is pointing us towards the essentials of our relationship. This sounds better … and it might even be risky not to try this closer examination.
We do know from Genesis 2:25 that before humankind tried to be independent of the Father’s ordinances that they were confident in their skins; “now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame”. As couples, enabling each other to be whom they were meant to be, we look towards the greatest meaning of our lives; living without unnecessary clutter and really being ourselves!
In our lives together as a married couple, we have to balance being drawn in different directions – with demands of our work, with demands from home, with pressure to socialise or pressure to block out diary time for fun with the whole family. Can anyone tell you what the essentials are for YOUR relationship? We don’t think so – but we do know some important principles.
One of the things about ‘naked’ is not being covered up – seeing it as it really is – so seeing “me” as I really am and seeing “us” as we really are.
So, how can we uncover ourselves to reveal ‘who we really are’? That might be difficult enough but then besides uncovering ourselves to ourselves – we have to communicate that “real me” to our “real other”. Now this is getting complicated because there’s the “real me”, there’s the “me I appear to be” and the “me I’d like to be”. And that applies to my partner too – and among each of those communicating with the other there must be just too many opportunities for misunderstanding!
Shall we make it simple? – Let’s sit down together (yes, let’s put an immovable date in the diary). Together let’s open our hearts to invite The Spirit who is ultimate truth and reality into our lives.
Let’s eat together, let’s talk, listening in turn to each other. Let’s have fun together, pray together.
We really like the Marriage Encounter method that is to begin talking with paper and pen – try these questions one at a time; write, swap, read, really read, smile, kiss, talk more – and talk for as long as you like before you tackle the next question.
- Tell me three highlights of the last week?
- What has made you smile or laugh recently?
Stripped back to the essentials…
- What is at the centre of “the real us” as a couple in love? (hopes, dreams, work, principles)
This might help us focus on the essentials of our unique loving relationship. Praise God!
Enjoy your focus on your Naked Marriage this week.
See www.marriage-week.org.uk for date night ideas, conversation starters, to see the ‘uncovered series’ and more.
And please do pass this on to other couples, family members, other families and groups who might like to look at the essentials of their relationships.
Annette and Paul O’Beirne,
Teams of Our Lady,
For the ACMO for Marriage Week 2021
Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations (ACMO): Marriage Care, Retrouvaille, Two in One Flesh, Marriage Encounter, Teams of Our Lady
Accompanying couples over a lifetime.
Image Acknowledgement: Adam and Eve image © Marko Rupnik SJ
Dear family of the Teams of Our Lady :
Today (Friday 14th April) is a very sad day for the International Responsible Team, for the Italian Super Region, for the Teams of Our Lady movement and for all of us who had the privilege of his affection and friendship. Carlo Volpini has passed away, a deep and joyful man, who together with his wife Maria Carla, gave a great part of his life to the Teams of Our Lady. They were responsible for the ERI between 2006 and 2012, ending their service at the International Meeting in Brasilia 2012. We thank God for him and for his life dedicated to the service of Christian marriage by communicating the joy of married love. On behalf of the whole ERI we ask for a prayer for his eternal rest, accompanying him in his Easter and giving strength to Maria Carla, his children and all his family and friends.
May God accept him in his glory.
INTERNATIONAL RESPONSIBLE TEAM 2018-2024
This Holy Thursday, we wish you a blessed Triduum and a Happy Easter day with your family and community
We attach in Word and pdf, three items from the Teams Leading Team for forwarding to Teams and couples. We have added these to the Transatlantic and GB Province websites. – so you could use those links to post forward if you prefer.
Our ERI Chaplain and couples have sent reflections for Easter looking at the central Charisms (gifts) and Mistique (special message) of Teams of Our Lady. They note that we as Teams members gather in the name of Christ, make ourselves neighbours to all and witness to Christ’s command to go out.
Also, we add again the link for the latest “far but near” ERI communication
Paul & Annette O’Beirne
TransAtlantic Super Region Responsible Couple
Recipes for Successful Marriage
By the Reverend Roger Carr-Jones, Marriage & Family Life Coordinator, Diocese of Westminster
If like me, you enjoy cooking, you will know that, when the recipe asks you to spend time marinading the food, should you then decide to cut corners the overall flavour is affected. Whilst the meal remains edible, the complexity of flavour may be lost. Patience is an essential part of the recipe of cultivating a healthy life-long marriage, as is a good balance of the ingredients with sufficient time given for the flavours to blend together. In marriage we are provided with all the ingredients needed, though at times we may need further insights and guidance to ensure that the balance and quantities are right.
Whilst food is an essential aspect of life, sharing a meal as a couple creates a place for good communication, openness, prayer and sharing. Marriage is a recipe that requires two cooks, who bring their own set of ingredients and together learn to adjust the flavours and quantities to create a new and wonderful dish. When we share a meal together, we share so much more.
This image of the shared meal is one aspect of Teams of Our Lady (Teams), a movement for married spirituality in the Catholic Church. Its members are married couples, who seek to live their marriages sacramentally. Each team, of five or six couples, provides a menu for couples to grow closer to themselves and God through prayer, find sustenance for their vocation of marriage and a place in which to share their lives as a community. Bishop Nicholas has kindly shared a few words in the video of his experience of Teams. He speaks eloquently and very movingly of the influence Teams had on his parent’s marriage, their family life and his own spiritual journey. Bishop Nicholas highlights two central gifts that Teams provided for his parents: good communication & prayer.
These two ingredients are vital in sustaining a life-long and healthy marriage. Ensuring that we have a necessary supply can come from being part of the Teams movement, which I encourage you to explore. Reflect for a moment on what the last year has been like for you as a family, or as a couple? Has it been a mix of unexpected challenges, difficulties, unexpected surprises and growth in mutual love, or a see-saw of emotions even in the same day? Like a good recipe, noticing the balance of flavours and ingredients enables adjustments to be made. It is also good to ensure that our stock cupboard is well-resourced.
The recipe of a good marriage requires becoming more aware of what that recipe requires and provides. If we are seeking sustenance for our marriage then Teams might the option that we have been seeking. The newly elected Super Regional Couple, Paul and Annette O’Bierne, recently shared with me how being part of Teams for 40 years has provided them with the recipe for their married life. This is because its ingredient list, the ‘endeavours’, provides sufficient nutrients to feed the roots of their relationship, as well as providing new flavours each and every year.`
Ash Wednesday eNews from the International Leading Team
The International Responsible Couple, Clarita and Edgardo Bernal, give the editorial.
And the International Spiritual Counsellor, Fr Ricardo Londono, reflects on our call to “metanoia” – change. He says “relationship with others requires authentic renewal” (of self).
The information from Pope Francis proclaiming the 54th World Day of Peace on 1st Jan 2021 is included – for your diary and planning. He calls on a culture of care that is the only way to lead to peace.
The sixty years of Intercessors is noted by Aude & Olivier de la Motte, the international couple for Intercessors
Information on Teams in the South America Super Region and in Africa is given by SR couples, the latter by P&A O’Beirne.
The new ERI communications Couple, Mercedes and Alberto Perez, are introduced; they have been married 30 years and in Teams 30 years. They have previously been the Super region couple for Spain.
They say that service in Teams “is for us a call to live, in truth and depth” recalling that Fr Caffarel spoke about couples with responsibility supporting the movement, and at the beginning of a new role of service they again choose those words from Fr Caffarel in 1957:
“all you have to do is work. Give to them.[Teams] Give yourselves. …. offering an attentive, understanding and motivating heart that conveys confidence, that knows how to tell the truth,….”
Newsletter Link: https://news2021-7.equipes-notre-dame.com/en
Mixed Teams – all Teams members welcome
Mixed Teams have been arranged for Sectors and Gatherings for many years. Based on welcome, hospitality and prayer, couples gather for prayer and exchange. It does not matter that the members might be meeting for the first time. A mixed Team meeting also has the advantage of sharing on how other teams organise themselves
The next Mixed Teams Online is Friday 19th February. Everyone previously registered will receive the joining details. Otherwise, to join please send an email to mixedteams @ TeamsGB.org.uk saying which Team you are in or what your interest is. You will then be added to the distribution list to received the prepared reading, prayers, details and link.
27th December – Feast of the Holy Family
We are delighted that we could join with Teams across the world for Mass celebrated at Greenford by Fr Liam, our super region chaplain. the video is here
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas may we also remind you of the Zone Mass which takes place this Sunday on the Feast of the Holy Family. The mass will be broadcast on Facebook at 08:00 from the Visitation church in Greenford but can be viewed later at your convenience.
12th December 2020
From the International Leading Team: Dear friends of the END International College,
We have prepared some news, prayers and testimonies that we want to share with you, to feel closer at this time when we cannot meet in person. You can find them at https://news2020-6.equipes-notre-dame.com/en
Also this Friday 18th December there is a Zoom Mixed Team meeting for the GB Province but all are welcome. If you wish to get sent an invite on Wednesday please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
5th December 2020
Today the annual Teams Mass in Ireland was held at Our Lady, Help of Christians Parish, Navan road, Dublin and the celebrant was Archbishop Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland and a former Teams’ chaplain in Trinidad & Tobago.
29th November 2020
Sharing Our Love – December 2020 Blog of the Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations
When starting a lasting love relationship there is the desire and the determination to be happy by living one for each other. This desire is stronger than any doubt or hesitation. We all have a dream of a covenant relationship, i.e. a way of living together in which the relationship itself is at the centre. A covenant is a promise to be faithful and to love each other no matter what. There is never a question of equity or justice between what is promised and what is expected; in other words, this love is unconditional. The love between the two of you is more important than the agreements you make. You want to invest in your relationship and therefore enrich it. This type of covenant relationship makes love visible, a sign. As Catholics we understand that our relationship also can make Love visible, i.e. Jesus’ love for His people; this is what we call a sacrament.
When you live a covenant relationship, you discover that you are more than just two people who are committed to each other. Your relationship may also be a sign, that your life as a couple can make love visible. How do you do that? Quite simply in the way you talk to one another, the way you listen to one another, the way you live your relationship, in the way you affirm one another, the way you face conflict/arguments and still stay together in your differences. To live a covenant love, we need a community, people who share the same dream and who are prepared to invest in it. As believers on our journey we discover a community around Jesus, which is a real help to live a covenant love, and an enrichment for society.
In this time of isolation, as we prepare for Christmas, it is important to continue to be visible in our Love relationship to our community as its ripples bring hope for the future.
Mark & Sue Stubbings – Advent 2020
Worldwide Marriage Encounter England & Wales Leadership
22nd November 2020
The 1st Virtual mixed Teams’ meeting of the GB Province was held on Friday 20th November and was a huge success. Almost 30 couples took part and were divided into separate meeting rooms of groups of 4-6 couples. The mixed Teams meetings will run every month and anyone is welcome to join, especially if your own Team is not able to meet currently. New couples interested in Teams are also welcome.
If you are interested please ask your Regional couples to be added to the list and you will receive the Zoom invite on Wednesday 16th December.